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Sports Hygiene


National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) 

National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 

Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) 

Proper precautions are needed to minimize the potential risk of the spread of communicable disease and skin infections during athletic competition. These conditions include skin infections that occur due to skin contact with competitors and equipment. The transmission of infections such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Herpes Gladiatorum, blood-borne pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis B, and other infectious diseases such as Influenza can often be greatly reduced through proper hygiene. The NFHS SMAC has outlined and listed below some general guidelines for the prevention of the spread of these diseases. 

Universal Hygiene Protocol for All Sports: 

• Shower immediately after every competition and practice. 

• Wash all workout clothing after each practice. 

• Wash personal gear (knee pads and braces) weekly. 

• Do not share towels or personal hygiene products (razors) with others. 

• Refrain from full body (chest, arms, abdomen) cosmetic shaving. 

Infectious Skin Diseases 

Strategies for reducing the potential exposure to these infectious agents include: 

• Athletes must be told to notify a parent or guardian, athletic trainer and coach of any skin lesion prior to any competition or practice. An appropriate health-care professional should evaluate any skin lesion before returning to competition. 

• If an outbreak occurs on a team, especially in a contact sport, all team members should be evaluated to help prevent the potential spread of the infection. 

• Coaches, officials, and appropriate health-care professionals must follow NFHS or state/local guidelines on “time until return to competition.” Participation with a covered lesion may be considered if in accordance with NFHS, state or local guidelines and the lesion is no longer contagious.

  • Health & Safety